With the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to decline in the last few weeks in the capital, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government has started preparations for the next wave of Covid-19, which could require nearly 40,000 oxygen supported beds.
During the period April-May, when daily Covid cases were over 25000 and the positivity rate was over 35 per cent, not only did the healthcare system of the capital almost collapse, but the Delhi government’s Covid management system too was under total stress. To meet the challenges, the state administration had then deployed all its senior officials and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was appointed as the nodal minister for Covid management.
Taking a lesson from the second wave, during which Delhi lacked a number of ICU beds with inadequate stock of oxygen resulting in several deaths in and outside the hospitals, the state administration seems geared up to ensure that the same situation is not repeated, if a third wave of the Covid pandemic hits the capital.
For this, the Kejriwal government has not only started augmenting the number of general and ICU beds, but is also working to ensure that Delhi does not grapple with a shortage of medical oxygen again.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday visited the oxygen depot in Mayapuri, which has been prepared to store the consignment of the oxygen cylinders received from China. He informed that around 6000 oxygen cylinders have been airlifted from China, out of which 4400 have been received and 1600 will be received within this week.
“These cylinders can be given to the individuals in need and if another wave emerges and the cases rise again then with these 6000 cylinders, the Delhi government can prepare 3000 oxygen beds, as two cylinders are needed on each oxygen bed,” Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister stated that for the country, this is the second wave but for Delhi this is the fourth wave, and this time, in the last week of April around 28,000 cases were recorded but now they have come down to 1500. The infection rate had also declined to 25 per cent. “It seems that this wave is subsiding but there has been no laxity in the efforts by the Delhi Government. We have already started preparing for the next, what is being called the third wave.”
Kejriwal said the Delhi government faced a lot of challenges in importing oxygen cylinders from China; however, it could be made possible with the help of the Centre.
“Apart from all these, Delhi government is in the process to import concentrators on a big scale of which many have been received already. Oxygen Concentrator Banks have been installed across the various districts. Whosoever needs oxygen concentrators, they are provided. We are also going to buy oxygen tanks and are creating oxygen storage space. Whatever problems we face during this wave are now being resolved,” Kejriwal said.
As of today, Delhi has 4380 beds for Covid patients in both government and private hospitals, out of which over 2000 are vacant. At present (till Monday, 6 p.m.) Delhi has a total of 2564 IBUC beds with ventilators, of which around 2000 are still occupied.